books, Devotional, endless gifts, family, Friday's Favourites, Island Life

fff – heart happy

Hi there! Welcome to Friday’s Blessing list and a Happy Valentine’s Day to each of you! I don’t know of a better way to make your heart happy than to count your blessings. It works for me every time.

1. Watching the birds is a daily happiness activity here at a Sparrow’s Home. The feeders are hung in a flowering crab tree just outside our kitchen windows. Little did I realize when my beloved and all my little loves gave me this  Mother’s Day gift years ago, that it would grow to bring me such happiness. Gorgeous blossoms in the spring, shade in the summer,

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but most of all a refuge for all kinds of lovely songbirds. We enjoy watching the birds all year long but we probably appreciate it most in the winter. American goldfinches and chickadees are always faithful visitors but this year we have some new visitors to the feeder – a whole flock of pine siskins.

Pine siskins2_feeder
The other day I noticed a return visitor among the pine siskins.  We’ve had them before but not for a few years.

He comes all the way from the Arctic tundra – the Common Redpoll. I spent a ridiculously long time in the frigid air trying to capture his beautiful iridescent cap in the sunlight.


2. More happiness – reading! I like to check out my favourite book blogs on Saturday mornings. When I find an interesting title, I check to see if our library carries it. Then I request it online. I usually have a tall stack of books waiting for me when I make my weekly library visit. I don’t have any trouble finding interesting non-fiction books, but I don’t have much success with newer fiction books. Sometimes I like to buy a book or two (ahem) and this is my preferred online bookstore. In honour of Valentine’s Day, they listed the best love stories of all time, and I was pleased to see a few of my favourite fiction books highlighted: love books
I’ve tried a few of the recently published books on that list but they didn’t appeal. Do you have a favourite fiction story with a love theme? Please share in the comments.

3. More heart happiness this week ~ music!

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I’m attending a harp workshop every second Saturday afternoon. It’s such fun to gather with a group of harpers and make music together. We’re working on some waltzes and it reminds me of afternoons at the skating rink when I was a child.

4. Here’s happiness –  time with my littlest sweethearts. Sweet hugs from this boy (and his daddy too – I ❤ this shot  – thanks Dorothy!)

visiting with this wee girl on Facetime.

and baking Valentine cookies this week with Josie and her little brother, Isaiah.

Cookie baking is obviously very serious business  but I finally captured a smile.

Her little brother was an easy capture. Smile at him and he smiles right back with the sweetest heart-melting grins.


5. I’ve been soaking my heart in Ephesians since the New Year. It’s amazing the transformation that happens when you stay in a book day after day. I wanted to share this prayer from Ephesians 3. It’s perfect for Valentine’s Day and every day ~ and it’s my heartfelt prayer for each of you.valentine_Christ love

My beloved and I are heading out for a Valentine’s dinner with a cause –  a fundraiser for our church’s Guatemala mission trip. A delicious turkey dinner, candles, flowers and best of all? John and Sarah will be serenading us. I’m really looking forward to it.

Hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day weekend – thanks so much for coming by to visit!

with love

PS –  thanks to Susanne for hosting Friday fave 5 each week. Drop over to her blog Living to Tell The Story for more blessing lists.

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29 thoughts on “fff – heart happy

  1. So much delightful sweetness!!! Kathie, I wish I could hear your harp, kiss your grand kids, capture a glowing red jewel on a redpoll’s head! Cookie making with grands: got that here too and a wee one in a Johnny Jumper.
    Catherine Marshall’s book “Christie” is a lovely romance.
    Have you read John Donne’s poetry? He blows me away! A most foul sinner who wrote poems while in his depravity, then he was saved. His love poems to Christ and to his wife are incredible, and the contrast of “before and after”…wow.
    I often read his poem “the Anniversary” on my anniversary, even though we ourselves are now in the 38th year of our reign. (You’ll have to read the poem to get that:
    You probably know his most famous poem: No Man Is An Island
    And maybe also:
    Go and catch a falling star.


    • Christy is one my favourite fiction reads – such a great story based on real life. I’ve read it several times. I do know Donne’s “No Man is An Island” – I’ll have to look up some more of his poetry.

      A cookie baking session with mine and yours would be such fun!!


  2. I’ve always loved the Lord Peter Wimsey novels by Dorothy Sayers. Peter’s love story with Harriet compasses several books and culminates with Gaudy Night. I highly recommend their love journey.
    Oh your photos of the birds! You do an amazing job of it–I’m inspired!


  3. Sounds like a wonderful way to celebrate Valentine’s! Little Josie needs to come make me some cookies. 😉 They look like they will be very delicious with all that concentration going on! One of my favourite modern fiction love stories is “The Mountain Between Us” by Charles Martin. Loved that one. the Hanover Falls series by Deborah Raney, One Summer by David Baldacci, Beneath a Southern Sky by Deborah Raney are a few other favorites. I find modern day romances that I like hard to find because I find that secular stories very often times confuse lust with love. I have so got to read Gone with the Wind.


  4. Kathie, there is nothing common about that Redpoll.What gorgeous coloring.
    Lovely photos of you and the grands making cookies. I look forward to the time when my wee grand daughter and I can bake together. I think this year is when it will start.
    Thanks for sharing the Ephesians verses. I am going to go over them tonight before bedtime.


  5. Debbie Z. says:

    Kathie, your beautiful photos and glimpse into your sweet life are such a blessing. Like you, I have a hard time finding modern novels that are appealing. I have started so many from the library, read a few pages, and then have taken them back. As far as romantic novels, I have to rely on older novels such as Jane Eyre and Gone With the Wind, too. Right now I am reading a sweet collection of stories I got at the library called The Lone Star Romance Collection by Christian author Cathy Marie Hake. Nothing deep, but just enjoyable and nothing objectionable! My favorite romance reading are the old poets, Robert Browning, and William Shakespeare, and Anne Bradstreet, “If ever two were one, then surely we. If ever man were lov’d by wife, then thee.” Would you mind sharing the names of the book blogs you read? I am always looking for good book sources.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ellen says:

    That’s a great idea for a Valentine meal. Have fun. As usual there are beautiful photos to see here of sweet birds and sweet babes! Love it. Looks like such a fun baking day you had! Have a wonderful weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. so much happiness and joy in these photos! loved this! I DO have a title for you that my college daughter had to read for a lit class at Gordon her first year. she read and I LOVED it: The History of Love. it’s excellent and I did a book review on my blog but you will have to search for it in my label ” Book Reviews” as I don’t recall exactly what month I did it. happy valentines and enjoy that fundraising date!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Such beautiful pictures of your birds! If I open the back door to try to get pictures, they all fly away. Maybe I ought to come from the front and sneak around. 🙂

    Harp music is so beautiful.

    What sweet pictures of your grandkids!

    Love that prayer in Ephesians. Recently I made a note on my phone with that prayer and another in Ephesians 1, Colossians 1, and Philippians 1 to use as I pray for people.

    I haven’t read GWTW but love the other two you have listed. I think Jane Eyre is probably one of my favorite love stories though it is certainly unconventional. One of my favorite quotes from near the end of the book is: “To be together is for us to be at once as free as solitude, as gay as in company. We talk, I believe, all day long: to talk to each other is but a more animated and an audible thinking.”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Those grandkids are adorable! Our youngest, Liam, loves his Jolly Jumper and can really make it move! We’ve had a lot of pine siskin and common redpoll here too, for about 2 weeks. They go through seed like crazy. Happy Valentine’s Day Kathie!

    Liked by 1 person

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